I am becoming increasingly convinced that the hardest part of digital marketing is blogging.
It’s not tough to start a blog. In fact, WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr make it incredibly easy (and free!). It’s really easy to write your first few posts — you’ll feel like they almost write themselves.
Your 5th blog post is the toughest… it’s what I call Blog Block
Simply put, Blog Block is the challenge in keeping the blog going. It strikes every blogger differently but for me, it comes after the fifth post. I start blogging full of ideas and enthusiasm. Soon though, Blog Block hits and the thrill of starting your blog diminishes. Soon you’re left with nothing but big plans and a domain that is the digital equivalent of a ghost town.
For some, Blog Block is brought on by outside forces. Maybe it’s your naysayer aunt or possibly the lack of comments on your posts. More likely though, it’s just your own ability to motivate yourself. Whatever the case, every blogger encounters it and it kills nearly all blogs. According to a survey by Technorati, 95% of blogs are abandoned.
Here are 5 tips to beating Blog Block:
- Acknowledge up front that you’re going to face Blog Block and commit yourself towards pushing through. Honestly, I don’t know how much this helps but I can’t imagine being successful without first setting your mind to expect success.
- Before you write your first post, write out 50 article ideas. Do this when you are all gung-ho about your blog and the ideas flow freely. You don’t have to flesh out all of the particulars, just pencil out some ideas. You’ll thank me for this when after your fifth post, you feel like you don’t have any more ideas.
- I know, this seems counter intuitive, but don’t write out a calendar of when you’ll write your articles. I’ve tried it. All it did was fill me with guilt and I began to resent my blog. Pressure is the last thing you need. I suggest that you simply put blogging on your to-do list. Get to it when the time is right. No guilt and no pressure.
- Until you have pushed through the Blog Block, check your article idea list and end every post with a sentence about what’s coming in your next. It’s great for readers because it connects your posts together and gives them a tease that will make them want to come back. To you, it focuses your attention. You know that you’ll get back to your blog because you said you would.
- As your enthusiasm wanes, you’ll notice that writing the first paragraph gets harder and harder. The perfect example is this very article. I spent 30 minutes trying to craft my opening line. Once I recognized that I was struggling, I skipped past that first graph and started writing the second. There’s a lot of pressure on that first paragraph but there’s no pressure on the second paragraph. Use that to your advantage.
Try my ideas and let me know how it works for you! I’d love to read your blog.
For more insight into the value of a blog as part of an inbound, digitally-centered marketing program, check out these other posts.
- Social media, technology convergence … the future
- Inbound marketing brings your website to life
- Is my audience on Facebook?
- You can build a brand online
By Ron J. Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org